Mobility, myofacial release, imbalances / restrictions / injury

  • Creator
  • #7863

    Hi guys,

    Thank you for creating a great resource – I’ve learned a ton from TftNA and the conversations on this website. I haven’t, however, put into practice everything that I’ve learned. 🙂

    I’m a recreational athlete, with a few bouts of several-months-long structured training and a few (slow) ultramarathon finishes under my belt, in addition to a decade of on-again, off-again powerlifting. I’ve struggled over the past year with tight quads and hamstrings, a few sciatica flare-ups, tight thoracic spine, and neck tightness. A few Rolfing sessions have helped a bit. Sticking a blue Rogue ball into my quads hurts like crazy; some softer balls have allowed me to make some progress.

    I’m a few weeks in to an 8-week transition period, following TftNA. My plan is to transition slowly, ramp up base training slowly, and regularly foam roll / “mobilize” (taking guidance from Kelly Starrett’s books among others). In addition, I’ve realized that >90% of my movement has been in the sagittal plane, so Scott’s core routine and (e.g.) Turkish get-ups are an area of increased focus.

    Is there anything else you would suggest I consider? Any suggested bibliography?

    Thank you,

  • Participant
    Colin Simon on #7930

    I used to visit a recovery lab with a whole bunch of toys including an ice bath set to 54 degrees F, which makes sense with recommendations I’ve seen…generally not to go lower than 54F, and that the ideal time is somewhere between 5-10 minutes. Then I bought a $4 thermometer and found out the water in my bathtub at home usually comes out around 56f, so no reason to pay for some expensive facilities.

    That recovery lab does have Normatec Recovery Boots, which seem to be like foam rolling on crack, for your entire legs minus the butt. If you have that “one muscle” that is very tight, a foam roller or lacrosse ball may be better, but if your legs just feel stiff overall or across large muscles(e.g. quads) it hits a large area pretty well. My experience with them has been excellent, but perhaps Scott has some more thorough information.

    Anonymous on #7936


    It good that you are recognizing that just as health has to underly fitness, mobility has to underly movement. Training for endurance sports involves too much of a good thing with our necessary millions of repetitions of basic movements. This often results in less mobility and impaired movements: Stiffness and pain at the limits of ranges of motion. Age and injuries does their thing to complicate matters.

    All the recovery tools mentioned in the book can work. Normaboots are pretty extreme but some of my pro use them. An e-stim machine is within the financial grasp of many serious recreational athletes. New they can be had for unser $500 and I see them on Ebay for under $200 fomr time to time. Google Compex.

    I’d still advocate for the Rogue ball as my number one go to tool for myofacial release. The fact that your muscles are too painful to use this ball only means you need it more. I could not use my ball when I first got it a few years ago. Now I can roll full body weight on my quad and IT bands with it. Start with the soft balls but do this frequently. 2-3 x/day for 5 minutes per tight spot is not too much for most. Consider that you have spent many years building up this lack of mobility. It can very realistically takes years to undo that. I’m old and really have a beat up body with lots of injury and I use my Rogue ball every single day. I also so this stretch for 10 minutes every AM and then before bed as well:

    Just stick with what ever routine you are using. Be consistent. There are a thousand ways to do this but they all take time.


    Reed on #7985


    Thank you for the suggestions. Dunking my legs in an ice bath has been nice at the end of a race, but I haven’t tried it at home, or with any regularity. I’ll keep an eye out for an opportunity to use those Normatec boots!


    Thank you for the guidance. It sounds like I’m starting to move in the right direction, and that as with most things in life, patience and consistency are the name of the game.

    The fact that your muscles are too painful to use this ball only means you need it more.



    Alan Russell on #8745

    David Swenson’s short form Ashtanga yoga routines (15, 30, and 45 mins) might also be of interest if you’re looking for a daily mobility program.


    Reed on #8807

    Thank you, Alan!

    Steve House on #8880

    One of the yoga instructors I know that best understands mobilty and everything that goes into it is Jason Crandall. I use his routines extensively; I also like that he takes time to explain the why behind what he’s doing. His routines are more gentle/recovery oriented than ashtanga (sometimes called power-yoga) would typically be. Here’s Crandall’s website:


    Alan Russell on #8897

    Jason Crandall’s site looks really good, I like the structured sequences – do you recommend any particular ones, or do you reckon it’s too individual dependent on personal mobility / lack of mobility / injuries?

    Does he provide guidance on whether to have Vinyasas between poses and how long poses should be held – not noticed this from my brief look?

    Alan Russell on #8898

    Reed, I’ve also found these quite good re. ITB / sciatica issues:,

    Alan Russell on #8908

    I used my HRM when doing the David Swenson 30 min Ashtanga routine today and got a hrTSS of 19, (33 TSS/hr since it took me 35 mins). So not all that high, but could be something to watch out for in overall loading, if using this routine / something like it.


    Reed on #8959

    Steve – thank you for the recommendation. Gentle and recovery-oriented sounds very helpful. And on an unrelated note, the Uphill Athlete hat that I ordered arrived, and it’s awesome! Thank you! 🙂

    Alan – Thanks, I’ll take a look. I think I’ve come across Jeff C. / Athlean-X before, and learned a lot from his videos.

    Steve House on #9060

    I discovered Jason Crandall on YogaGlo, it has a lot of his courses (I don’t know if they’re all there or not). Yogaglo is a paid subscription service but works well and I always have a class in my pocket. I suppose you can do the same via his website, but I haven’t looked into it.

    The only problem I find with Yogaglo app is that it only allows me to view classes I’ve viewed before on a computer. I find this strange, but have adapted and now have my little play list of the classes I use the most. He has many classes specific to areas of the body, like Thorasic and Shoulders. I often use these as they are also my problem areas. He also has a selection of recovery classes targeting to different sports from skiers to runners. I find myself going to the runner’s recovery most often. The library of classes Crandall has produced is very impressive and he spends a lot of useful time explaining why he’s doing what he’s doing. Enjoy.

    Reed on #9066

    Hi Steve,

    Yes, that’s where found Jason Crandell’s classes. My wife and I have enjoyed the first few that we’ve done. I’d never done a video yoga class at home, and I was surprised at how much I liked it – better in many ways than joining a yoga class in-person! Thanks again for the recommendation.


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